I saw a quote recently which got me thinking.
“You can’t push a rope. To end a drought, Elijah partnered with Heaven for rain to come. His final act before rain was to put his head between his knees as he pulled on heaven in prayer. Some of us are pushing so hard for rain, perhaps it is time to pull on heaven instead.”
It seems to me that as we progress further and further down the road that is a world with Coronavirus as a major part of it, both individuals and groups are pushing for a return to whatever they consider ‘normal’.
In the world that I live in this seems to be especially true in those who are trying to return to a worship experience that involves meeting in a building, singing songs and being with those who believe the same as we do.
Over the past few weeks I’ve seen opinions ranging from sticking as firmly as possible to the guidelines published by the government of the land (and taking a few steps beyond the guidelines just to be sure that they comply) to others where the only government that they are willing to recognise is government from heaven, and the directive in the bible clearly states that we ‘should not neglect meeting together.’
The exact position that your church takes will likely fall somewhere between these two extremes.
While I yearn to meet together, to worship as a body of believers I am pulled too by the rules that have been laid down by the leaders of our country, and by the science which I understand (and is evolving as we find out more about this novel virus).
1 Peter 2:7 tells us to ‘honour everyone, Love the brotherhood, Fear God, Honour the Emperor’ What we are told to do by the leaders of our nation matters. I understand that in a number of cases the guidance is confusing, and seemingly contradictory. I get that it feels like churches are being unfairly targeted for stricter guidance than some other sectors. It makes little sense to most to allow schools and pubs to open, but restrict church services.
Elijah could easily have simply told the rain to come. It was of course the way he ensured that there had been a drought in the first place.
He spoke and it came to pass.
When it was time for the drought to end though, there needed to be persistent and fervent prayer. It is true that when one knows ones identity and standing in the heart of the Father it is possible (and sometimes necessary and preferable) to simply speak things that we wish to see into being.
But sometimes it is necessary (and preferable) to spend time petitioning heaven, asking for guidance, asking for His will to come on earth. Part of the reason that we need to spend that time on our knees asking Him to intervene is because we need to see the difference between our will and His. We have tried to be God in so many different ways by shouting our rights and complaining when we feel hard done by.
The Father wants our heart to beat as one with His. For His will to become our will.
At that point, Heaven will move.
There will be no stopping it.
I have little doubt that it will look different to the ‘normal’ that we are trying to get back to – but I also have little doubt that it will be worth the wait.
Let us join together church, on our knees, pulling on heaven for our town, for our nation, for the world.